Flu remains widespread across Iowa; virus covered by vaccine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu remains widespread across Iowa; virus covered by vaccine

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Flu cases remain widespread across the state, but the most predominant strain of the virus is covered by the flu vaccine.

According to statistics compiled by officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), 565 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Iowa this season with the 2009 H1N1 as the predominant virus.

Bruce Meisinger, director of the Black Hawk County Health Department, said the H1N1 strain is covered by this year's flu vaccine.

Meisinger said influenza is not a reportable disease, so numbers are anecdotal. However, he said local clinics and hospitals are seeing increased traffic for people experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, 39 cases of the flu have been confirmed in Iowa, according to statistics released by IDPH.

Those same statistics indicate 35 of those cases have been confirmed as the 2009 H1N1 strain.

Officials with IDPH are not reporting any spike in school illnesses because of flu-like symptoms in eastern Iowa.

According to online records released by IDPH, four schools in Iowa have reported more than a 10 percent absence rate because of the flu. All of those schools are located in the western part of the state.
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